If I had to guess, I would say that the gaming community’s consensus on microtransactions is that they can be a bit of a nuisance when they are too aggressive, but when the cash shop isn’t being thrust in our faces, it’s nice to have to option to pay to get ahead, especially in free games. That said, microtransactions could stand to get a lot worse in the near future now that we know just how much money Grand Theft Auto Online has made from its cash shop.
GTA Online has generated “at least” a half a billion dollars thanks to players spending money to speed up their progress. The figure was revealed thanks to former Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies’ $150 million lawsuit against Take-Two. To put GTA Online’s $500 million in perspective, Halo 5’s microtransactions brought in at least $1.5 million.
“GTA Online has the potential to achieve the greatest profit margin of any game created in the GTA franchise,” reads a line from the lawsuit. This is in part because GTA Online’s microtransactions have “nearly 100 percent profit margin,” except for development costs and fees collected by storefronts.
Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said in November 2015 that more than 8 million people were playing GTA Online every week. He has also described GTA Online as “the gift that keeps on giving” as it relates to the money it makes from microtransactions.
Now, this shouldn’t be cause for panic because GTA Online’s cash shop is exemplary. Rockstar has kept GTA Online fresh since launch, constantly adding new content including more modes, items, weapons, and cars, among other things. Just today, April 12, Rockstar introduced a new mode called Inch By Inch and the Vapid Minivan.
But still, don’t think that the video game industry won’t take notice knowing that it is possible to rake in about a half a billion dollars.
What are your thoughts on microtransactions? Please let us know in the comments.